Monkeys exhibit human-like gaze biases in economic decisions

  1. Shira M Lupkin
  2. Vincent B McGinty  Is a corresponding author
  1. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, United States


In economic decision-making individuals choose between items based on their perceived value. For both humans and nonhuman primates, these decisions are often carried out while shifting gaze between the available options. Recent studies in humans suggest that these shifts in gaze actively influence choice, manifesting as a bias in favor of the items that are viewed first, viewed last, or viewed for the overall longest duration in a given trial. This suggests a mechanism that links gaze behavior to the neural computations underlying value-based choices. In order to identify this mechanism, it is first necessary to develop and validate a suitable animal model of this behavior. To this end, we have created a novel value-based choice task for macaque monkeys that captures the essential features of the human paradigms in which gaze biases have been observed. Using this task, we identified gaze biases in the monkeys that were both qualitatively and quantitatively similar to those in humans. In addition, the monkeys' gaze biases were well-explained using a sequential sampling model framework previously used to describe gaze biases in humans-the first time this framework has been used to assess value-based decision mechanisms in nonhuman primates. Together, these findings suggest a common mechanism that can explain gaze-related choice biases across species, and open the way for mechanistic studies to identify the neural origins of this behavior.

Data availability

All data and code used for the analyses and figures included in the present manuscript have been uploaded as an Open Science Framework project (and a linked GitHub account). These files can be accessed at:

The following data sets were generated
    1. Lupkin SM
    2. McGinty VB
    (2022) NHP-Gaze-Bias
    Open Science Framework: DOI 10.17605/OSF.IO/HKGMN.
The following previously published data sets were used

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Shira M Lupkin

    Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-3792-5571
  2. Vincent B McGinty

    Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark, United States
    For correspondence
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-0883-4301


Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (Deans Dissertation Fellowship)

  • Shira M Lupkin

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (Academic Advancement Fund)

  • Shira M Lupkin

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (Graduate Assistantship through the Behavioral and Neural Sciences Graduate Program)

  • Shira M Lupkin

Whitehall Foundation

  • Vincent B McGinty

Biomedical Research Foundation (Busch Biomedical Research Foundation)

  • Vincent B McGinty

National Institute on Drug Abuse (K01-DA-036659-01)

  • Vincent B McGinty

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.


Animal experimentation: All procedures were in accordance with the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (2011)and were approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees of both Stanford University (APLAC Protocol #9720) and Rutgers University-Newark (PROTO999900861). Surgeries to implant orthopedic head restraints were conducted using full surgical anesthesia using aseptic techniques and instruments, and with analgesics and antibiotics given pre-, intra-, and post-operatively as appropriate.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Erin L Rich, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, United States

Version history

  1. Preprint posted: February 26, 2022 (view preprint)
  2. Received: February 26, 2022
  3. Accepted: July 25, 2023
  4. Accepted Manuscript published: July 27, 2023 (version 1)
  5. Version of Record published: August 29, 2023 (version 2)


© 2023, Lupkin & McGinty

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.


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  1. Shira M Lupkin
  2. Vincent B McGinty
Monkeys exhibit human-like gaze biases in economic decisions
eLife 12:e78205.

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